This week Your Legal Adviser

Publish: 4:19 PM, February 17, 2019 | Update: 4:19:PM, February 17, 2019

Query :

Dear Sir,
Assalamu Walaikum,
Few days ago Anti-Corruption Commission sent me a notice for declaration of my all moveable and immoveable property details and also sent another notice of possession of property in excess of known source, now what should I do in the reply of this notice? Please inform me in details.
Regards,
Name reluctant to disclose, from Chittagong.

Legal Opinion :
Thank you for your query, in such cases if after enquiry of Anti-corruption commission it seems that someone or on his/her behalf is possessing moveable/immovable properties then the ACC will send notice to him/her for declaration of his/her property and he/she must have to submit all the details of his/her property along with all income tax documents and tax documents before the anti-corruption commission. If someone does not submit the declaration of the property then it will be a punishable criminal offence under section 26 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2004. Moreover if ACC sent any notice to someone to submit details of his/her possession of property in excess of his/her known source and if the owner suppress the information of possession of his property in excess of his/her known source when he/she submits his property details to ACC then it will be a punishable criminal offence under 27 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2004.
According to section 26 of the Anti-corruption Commission Act, 2004,
(1) If the commission is satisfied on the basis of its own information and after necessary investigation that any person or any other person on his behalf is in possession or has obtained ownership of property not consistent with his legal sources of income then the commission through an order in writing shall ask that person to submit a statement of assets and liabilities in the manner determined by the commission and to furnish any other information mentioned in that order.
(2) If any person –
(a) after having received an order mention in sub-section (1) fails to submit the written statement or furnish the information accordingly or submits any written statement or provides any information that is false or baseless or there are sufficient grounds to doubt their veracity or
(b) submits any book, account, record, declaration, return or any document under sub-section (1) or gives any statement that is false or baseless or there are sufficient grounds to doubt its veracity,
then that person will be sentenced to a prison term of up to three (3) years or a fine or both
According to Section 27 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2004,
(1) If there are sufficient and reasonable grounds to believe that a person in his/her own name or any other person on his/her behalf is in possession and has obtained ownership of moveable or immoveable property through dishonest means and the property is not consistent with the known sources of his/her income and if he/she fails to submit to the court during trial a satisfactory explanation for possessing that property, then that person shall be sentenced to a prison terms ranging from a minimum of three (3) years to a maximum of ten years imprisonment, and these properties shall be confiscated.
(2) If it is proved during the trial of charges under sub-section (1) that the accused person in his own name or any other person on his/her behalf has obtained ownership or is in possession of moveable or immoveable property not consistent with the known sources of his/her income then the court shall presume that the accused person is guilty of the charges and unless the person rebuts that presumption in court the punishment meted out on the basis of this presumption shall not be unlawful.
But if someone has a reason to believe that the ACC just harass or with malafide intention sending notice time and again or after getting the notice, has a reason to believe that if he/she submits the wealth details that will not make any difference but to make him accused in the criminal case then he/she can file Writ Petition under Article 102 of the Constitution of Bangladesh before the High Court Division challenging the notice illegal and without lawful authority to get protection from harassment.

Muhammad Saifuddin Khaled,
Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh

Senior Associate of “MAMUN & ASSOCIATES” Expertise in family law, land law, civil law, constitutional law, criminal law, Anti-Corruption Commission related laws and Writ matters. Cell: 01722513363, 01972513363 E-mail: lawoptim[email protected]